Phoenixville Tunnel

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Phoenixville Tunnel
Fairview tunnel.jpg
North portal of the tunnel.
Overview
Line Schuylkill Branch
Location Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°08′38″N 75°31′35″W / 40.144008°N 75.526420°W / 40.144008; -75.526420Coordinates: 40°08′38″N 75°31′35″W / 40.144008°N 75.526420°W / 40.144008; -75.526420
System Pennsylvania Railroad
Conrail
Start 1884
Operation
Constructed Stone
Brick
Technical
Length 809.75 ft, 246.75 m
No. of tracks Double, later single

The Phoenixville Tunnel, originally called the Fairview Tunnel, was part of the Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley Railroad in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

The ends of the Phoenixville Tunnel are located at 40°08′36″N 75°31′36.6″W / 40.14333°N 75.526833°W / 40.14333; -75.526833 (Phoenixville Tunnel north end) and 40°08′30.8″N 75°31′39.9″W / 40.141889°N 75.527750°W / 40.141889; -75.527750 (Phoenixville Tunnel south end).

History[edit]

The tunnel after its opening in 1884.

The tunnel was built in 1884. It is approximately 809.75 feet long and 24 feet 8 inches wide. The tunnel, which was later acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad, runs parallel to the west of Fairview Street, underneath Fillmore Street.

After the First World War increasing competition from automobiles and trucks led to passenger train services being discontinued in 1928. However, freight services continued to use the line. The line, which was used by Conrail from Kimberton to Phoenixville, was abandoned in the 1980s.

It is near the 1835 Phoenixville Black Rock Tunnel 40°08′52″N 75°31′07″W / 40.147833°N 75.518497°W / 40.147833; -75.518497, the third railroad tunnel to be built in the United States.

Present day[edit]

Partial collapse under Fillmore Street

The tunnel is now abandoned. The original brick construction is in poor repair. A large part of the ceiling has collapsed directly under Fillmore Street prompting a three-ton gross vehicle weight limit on the road above.

The Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley Railroad rail right of way is being developed into the Schuylkill River Trail, a multi-use recreational / bicycle trail. However, it is not clear if the tunnel will be included.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bernhart, Benjamin L (2006). Pennsylvania Railroad in the Schuylkill River Valley: the Story of the PRR's Schuylkill Division. ASIN B000KSZCNC. 

External links[edit]